The dynamics between a husband and wife are different in every marriage, particularly when it comes to work. Sometimes, both spouses work outside the home and earn roughly the same amount of money. Both spouses work outside the home, but one spouse earns significantly more than the other.
And, one spouse may work outside the home, and the other spouse stays out of the workforce to care for the family. No two marriages are alike, so what works for some spouses will not work for other spouses.
But, no matter how income comes into the household, a couple’s marriage can crumble. When the end of a marriage is in sight, each spouse may worry about their financial situation post-divorce. This may especially be true if one spouse does not earn much or does not have a job at all. For these reasons, courts in Colorado will award the lesser-earning spouse spousal maintenance, at least for a limited period.
While the Colorado Revised Statutes have formulaic guidelines to how much spousal maintenance to award and for how long, the court may still consider additional factors. Some of these factors include:
- The receiving spouse’s actual or potential income and financial resources;
- The ability of the receiving spouse to eventually support him or herself independently;
- The paying spouse’s financial resources;
- The paying spouse’s ability to meet his or her reasonable needs while paying maintenance;
- The lifestyle the couple enjoyed while married;
- Assets awarded during property division in exchange for or to reduce an award of spousal maintenance;
- Each spouse’s age and health; and
- The length of the marriage.
This list is not all-exhaustive.
In the end, any decisions regarding spousal maintenance can be complicated. It takes an understanding both of the statutory formulaic guidelines and the legal factors regarding an award of spousal maintenance to determine what a fair amount of maintenance is. However, with the right help spouses can have a better understanding of spousal maintenance in Colorado.